Whitehall has seen some new businesses open within the past couple of weeks. Community members now have a new gas station as well as a reopened body shop. Although it may seem difficult to open up during a pandemic, these shop owners saw it as just another day.
Bel-Mar Auto has been in Whitehall for quite some time now and has just reopened to the public after closure due to the passing of the previous owner. Chris Mueller is the new owner of Bel-Mar Auto on Broadway Avenue. The shop covers almost all auto services and has provided the community with auto care for years. Mueller has 13 years of experience of automotive repair under his belt and said he is excited to serve the community of Whitehall.
“So far it’s been pretty good,” he said. “A little bit of a slow start but I’m only a few weeks into it. But I’m hopeful.”
Mueller has an extensive background in automotive repairs thanks to three years spent with Midas in Queensbury. He is a full service mechanic and has experience with engine light diagnostics, electrical and more. What he was surprised to see when he entered Bel-Mar for the first time was the amount of old automotive parts. For the majority of it, it has become memorabilia for Mueller due to its age.
“It’s pretty much about like stepping back in time about 50 years,” he said.
Another business that has opened up is the new Sunoco station which is also located on Broadway Avenue. Anjum Manzoor, the owner of the station, lives in the Albany area but said he wants to do as much as he can for Whitehall.
Manzoor has just started to get in the hang of the different aspects of owning a convenience store. During the past couple of weeks he has seen business pick up as well as learn the ropes of managing his store.
“We just started to get some new stuff so for the meantime I want to invite everybody,” he said.
Manzoor mentioned that he is receiving new products in his store every day. He said he has some grocery items and sodas ready to roll, but over the coming weeks he will be expanding his selection in the store. He is enthusiastic about making sure community members’ needs are served as well as letting them know there is more to come from his shop.
“I just opened the location, so I am still waiting for more to come,” he said.
Even though Manzoor is focused on the shop he just opened, he is interested in starting more businesses in Whitehall. He said he has been looking into buying more buildings to bring more to the people.